Arsenal lost 2-1 to Newcastle United at the weekend, as the in-form Magpies just proved to be too much for Arsene Wenger’s side at St James’ Park. Naturally, it’s a result that is going to be hard to swallow as is the case with 99% of defeats in professional football, but that’s still no reason to panic about the overall landscape of the club. The priority is and has been for the last few weeks now, to win the Europa League and qualify for the Champions League next season as a result.
That’s it. If The Gunners were to lose every remaining game in the Premier League from now until the end of the campaign, that’s a sacrifice that needs to be made – as long as they can capture European silverware. Sure, putting all of your eggs in one basket doesn’t always turn out great, but even if they wind up finishing in 7th it’s a good thing. Why? Because their thought process should be ‘Champions League or nothing’.
Not competing in Europe certainly helped Liverpool out a few years ago, and it can have the same kind of effect here. Arsene Wenger would be able to prioritise a title challenge alongside a cup run or two without the distraction of multiple European away days. If they were to edge their way into the Champions League then that’s a different story, but as we’ve seen from this season, the Europa League is a competition that can involve trips to every corner of the continent.
In terms of the actual game itself, fans need to calm down because Newcastle United are on a great run of form right now. Rafa Benitez has them playing some of the best football we’ve seen from the North East in years, and they appear set to confirm a top half finish in the next few weeks. When you couple that with the intimidating atmosphere created by their loyal fanbase, a loss doesn’t seem all too surprising.
We aren’t suggesting supporters just accept this, but instead, that they learn from it and use it as fuel heading into the next few games. They need to have a united front in preparation for the two Atletico Madrid games because otherwise, they could crumble before our very eyes.
Should Arsenal fans be worried?